Known For : Ajanta Caves Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora
Ajanta and Ellora caves are considered to be one of the most significant historical places in Maharashtra owing to the magnificent paintings of Ajanta and well-carved sculptures of Ellora. The rock-cut caves containing carvings are the finest example of Indian paintings and sculpture. They are a must-visit historical place in Maharashtra.
Best Time: June to March
The Gateway of India is, without doubt, one of the most popular historical places in Maharashtra. Sitting proudly on the Apollo Bunder, it overlooks the Arabian Sea. It is one of the defining monuments of the city of Mumbai and was built in the year 1924. The construction was undertaken by the famous architect George Wittet, to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai. The imposing structure of the monument is a beautiful confluence of Indian, Arabic and Western architecture and has become a popular tourist hub in the city.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), formerly known, Victoria Terminus, is a modern yet archaic railway station in the bustling capital city of Maharashtra - Mumbai. Built in1878, the marvellous structure is the perfect example of the Victorian-Gothic style of architecture in India. In fact, the railway station, which still functions, as usual, was a World Heritage Site under UNESCO in 1997. It is a bustling railway terminus, but it will make you feel like you have stepped into the pages of British history. It is one of the most famous historical places in Maharashtra and is also the second most photographed monument in India.
The mighty edifice of Aga Khan Palace is situated in Pune and was built by Sultan Muhammed Shah Aga Khan III in the year 1892. It is one of the most important historical places in Maharashtra and has been instrumental in many defining moments of India's independence. Aga Khan Palace is well known both for its architectural excellence as well as its historical significance. Spread over a vast land of 19 acres, the palace is now the headquarters of the Gandhi National Memorial society. Here, making khadi is still one of the prime activities.
The former love-nest of Bajirao and Kashi, the Shaniwar Wada in Pune is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Maharashtra. This grand mansion was built by the Peshwa Bajirao I himself as the residence of the Peshwas. Covering a vast area of about 625 acres, the palace is the ideal place to catch a glimpse of Maharashtra's rich history. The place never fails to amaze the visitor with its various forts and fountain, and the majestic statue of Baji Rao I that greets the visitor at the entrance of the palace.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is a specimen of rock-cut art and architecture from the times of medieval India. The caves are located on the Elephanta or Gharapuri island which is situated at a distance of 11 km from the city of Mumbai. Natively known as Gharapurichi Leni, the Elephanta Caves that exist today are ruins of what were once elaborately painted artworks. It also provides an amazing view of the Mumbai skyline. You can reach the Elephanta Caves via a ferry ride from Gateway of India. This collection of cave temples dates back to 5th to 7th centuries and most of them are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Jaigad Fort, also known as the Fort of Victory, is a 16th-century fort that extends over an area of 13 acres in the coastal region of Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. Located near Jaigad Village and approximately 20 kms to the north-west of Ganpatipule, the remains of the fort stand steady on a cliff overlooking the Jaigad creek where River Shastri enters the vast and mesmerising Arabian Sea. Jaigad Fort is an engineering marvel for the purpose it was built. A glance at this magnificent historical place in Maharashtra before you enter will surely amaze you. A visit to the Jaigad lighthouse which was built in close vicinity to the Jaigad fort is a must.
Soaring to a height of around 820 metres, the captivating Raigad Fort is perched on the Sahyadri mountain range. An exquisite gem of the Indian history, the fort is of great pride for the Marathas and accounts to their glorious past. It is a reminder of the valour and audacity of the Marathas. The Raigad fort is not just a tourist spot, it is a sacred place of pilgrimage which holds the imprints of the grand vision of Hindavi Swarajya as cherished by Chhatrapati Shivaji.
Situated at a height of 3400 feet, Lohagad Fort is a formidable fort about 52 kilometres away from Pune. Perched atop an impressive hill near Malavali, this destination is the perfect amalgam of ancient architecture and natural beauty. Lohagad Fort was built in the 18th century and is an ideal destination for trekking and nature lovers, especially from Pune and Mumbai. This historical place in Maharashtra is flanked by nature at its lush green best and hosts panoramic views and cool mountain air.
Situated amidst the sea and surrounded by waters of Arabian sea from all sides, Kolaba fort or Alibag fort is one of the most important historical places in Maharashtra. It is a 300-year old fort which was once chief naval stations during the reign of Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra. This isolated military fortification located amidst the Arabian sea is a spectacular sight. Located not more than 2 kilometres from the Alibaug beach, it can be reached by foot during low tides, but during high tides, a boat must be hired. The walk is quiet and scenic as the area is scarcely populated with only a few beachgoers here and there.
Perched upon a lush green plateau, the Visapur Fort is a very popular historical place in Maharashtra for adventure mongers as well as nature lovers. The fort stands majestically tall and ruggedly firm at the height of 1084 meters above sea level offering a panoramic view of a wide range of hills covered in a thick blanket of green. The majestic fort is a very popular destination for trekking activities. With an eventfully historic backstory and an unmatched view of nature at its best, the Visapur fort is indeed a treat for all- history buffs, adventure mongers and nature enthusiasts.
Located 15 km away from the main city of Aurangabad, Daulatabad Fort is an ancient fortification that rises formidably from the midst of verdant greenery. Often hailed as one of the 'seven wonders of Maharashtra, this architectural marvel is believed to have been built in the12th century. Perhaps the most enchanting qualities of the Daulatabad Fort is its location, from the zenith of which you can capture a mesmerising view of the entire city. You need to hike some 750 odd steps up to the top, but the view down below is a wonderful thing to behold.
Murud Janjira Fort is a mighty fortification located on an island off of the coastal village of Murud in Maharashtra. Towering up from a massive rock amidst the stretching azure of the Arabian Sea, this fort has stood the test of time as well as the test of resilience in the past. The mighty fortress stands upon the sands of a modest beach, and the gentle palms swaying in the breeze exude the most serene vibes. Standing against the backdrop of the glistening sea and charming blue skies, this historical place in Maharashtra is awe inspiring. This fort is a must visit if you are travelling along the Konkan coast in Maharashtra.
A dominant hill fortress of the Pawana Maval region of the Konkan, Tikona Fort is a loved, frequented and very popular one-day trek spot of Maharashtra. The real Marathi name of the fort is Vitandgad, but it gets its more famous name from the triangular shape it is built in. With a clouded origin and dynamic history of many takeovers and recoveries, the fort stands tall along the green hillocks of Sahyadri. It still commands awe and respect with its high fortifications, large doorways, seven water tanks with clean water and a spectacular view from its topmost bastion.
Having a striking resemblance to Taj Mahal, the Bibi ka Maqbara is a beautiful mausoleum of Rabia- Ul - Daurani alias Dilras Banu Begum, the wife of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Bibi ka Maqbara was constructed by Aurangzeb in the year 1661 in the memory of his wife. Aurangzeb attributed this magnificent edifice in the name of his son Azam Shah who was born in the year 1653, so as to commemorate Rabia - Ul - Daurani, who left for her heavenly abode in the year 1657.
Karnala fort also known as the Funnel Hill is a hill fort in Raigad district, about 10 km from Panvel city and 65 km from Mumbai. The historical place in Maharashtra is a protected property which is situated within the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and offers a great opportunity to enjoy a refreshing, easy trek. Karnala fort consists of two forts out of which one is at a higher level and other is at a lower level.
The Panhala Fort lies 20 km away from the main city of Kolhapur, situated at its north-west. This historical place in Maharashtra holds its position amongst the most massive location in the country and is the largest one in the Deccan region. It was built in a strategic position where a major trade route ran within Maharashtra from Bijapur to the coasts of Arabian Sea. This place is not only a must-visit for the people who love exploring historic locations but also for those who love to trek.
Prabalgad Fort, also known as 'Kalavantin Durg' is situated between Matheran and Panvel in Maharashtra, at a height of 2,300 feet in the Western Ghats. The fort built at the peak of a rocky plateau very close to Matheran has become a major tourist attraction. A trek to this historical place in Maharashtra is perfect for those who enjoy adventure and the way to the fort is a dangerously steep climb. The steps leading up to the fort are cut into the rock of the hill. Reaching the fort is one of the toughest trekking challenges in Maharashtra and only if you are an experienced trekker should you go for this trek.
Located off the coast of Maharashtra, the Sindhudurg Fort is an ancient fortress occupying an islet in the Arabian Sea. This imposing construction is spread over an area of 48 acres, with its massive walls standing tall against the crashing waves of the sea. The main entrance of the fort is hidden away in such a manner that no one can identify it from the outside. The Sindhudurg Fort is a tangible example of the Maratha foresight and resourcefulness. Not only is this mighty Fort a significant historical place in Maharashtra, but the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape makes it a popular tourist spot.
The Korlai Fort is an extensive military fortification primarily occupied by the Portuguese during the 1500's. Currently, in ruins, the mighty fort stands strong overlooking the vast blue of the Arabian Sea. Built in 1521, on an extension of land shielding the Revdanda creek inlet, the island was once called Morro De Chaul, in which 'Morro' translates to a small hill, and 'Chaul' refers to a nearby Portuguese-Creole speaking village. A great construction of its time, this fort now stands in ruins but is a fabulous historical place in Maharashtra nonetheless. The beauty of the surrounding hill slopes is another incentive to visit this destination.
Midway between Lonavala and Khandala is a fort by the name of Rajmachi Fort, a prominent landmark that watches over some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and wide sceneries of the region.
Jaigad Fort is nestled on a cliff that overlooks a bay which is formed when Shastri river enters the Arabian Sea.
Ahivantgad is a fort in the Nasik district of Maharashtra. Ahivantgad and Achala are twin forts. The top of the fort resembles more a wide plateau than the peak of a hill.
Located on the hilltop, Jai Vilas Palace is regarded as Jawhar's one of the most prominent historic sites. Also known as Raj Bari, the palace once served as the home to the kings of Munke Family.
Resting tall and strong on an unaccompanied hill of the Satpura mountain range, the Narnala Fort stands as a testimony to the Mughals' rich history and their remarkable architecture. This magnanimous fort was one of the thirteen 'sarkars' of Berar Subah and houses intriguingevidences of the majesty of the Mughal Dynasty, including the famous 27-foot cannon- Kadak Bijli. Perched upon a secluded hill at a height of 973 meters, the Narnala Fort offers a panoramic view of the Satpura ranges. Surrounded by a blanket of green and with a backdrop of the bright blue sky, the mesmerising glory of the fort is truly iconic.
With 3 gates, an inner and an outer fort, the Gawilgarh Fort is known for its unique architecture. It is one of the three forts in Chikhaldara.
The palace, earlier situated atop of Narendra hills in Sawantwadi belongs to the erstwhile state rulers called Khem- Sawant after whom the village takes its name.
Kothaligad is a small fort to the east of Karjat on the Karjat-Murbad road. It is called Peth fort because of its vicinity to the Peth Village.
This historic fort of Madhav Gad is situated 2.5km from the Main bus stop in Amboli. Though in a state of ruins, the view atop the fort is breathtaking.
Behind the Ghatandevi Temple lies the Tringalwadi Fort, situated at an altitude of 3000 ft above sea level. The height of the fort offers a scenic view of the entire area.
The New Palace located on the Bahvani Mandap-Kasaba Bavda Road was constructed in 1877-84 and has been the residence of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj. The ground floor of the palace is converted into a museum that houses artifacts belonging to those times when the king ruled and his own possessions.
Built about 1700, this is a water mill used for grinding grains. The forethought put into the marvel of architecture is truly amazing.
Built in the memory of the Maratha nobel, Shri Mahadju Shinde, the Chatri is situated in Wanowri near Pune.
While only the remains and ruins of the structure can be seen, this one find itself wrapped in a fain historic charm. The for had itself captured by Shivaji Maharaj from the Mughals.
A fort that fell from one reign of ownership to another is an island fort, by the name of Undheri Fort, at a distance of about 300m from the Kandheri. A local fishing boat can be hired to visit the fort.
The fort is a beautiful place,1380 m above the sea level. Khadakwasala also has a dam which is absolutely worth a visit during the monsoons. They are a must-visit historical place in Maharashtra.
An elaborate palace with 4 entrances, this structure was built on the Mughal king, Aurangzeb's order. The throne room of Aurangzeb can be found here.
Sindhudurg fort is one of the most sought after histrionics in Tarkarli. It was built by the great Maratha warrior, Chhatrapati Shivaji.
At the complex of the fort, tourists can view ammunition depots and the watchmen houses. Within the fort, tourists can also find a square lake that is filled with water all the year round. The highest point of the fort acts as a view point.
Located in Rajmachi Village, which lies in the Sahyadri Mountain Ranges, this fort has an elevation of about 900m and was once used as a watchtower for the Sahyadri Region. It is close to the Manoranjan Fort. Constructed in Maratha style, a cave of the Buddhist period is further down.
Another fort in the region, this one houses the Pavana Lake in its complex. At 1075m, this fort is slightly difficult to climb. To reach the site, tourists need to climb 1,200 ft area of the fort that is a steep ascent.
Koregad (also known as Korigad, Koarigad, Kumwarigad) is a hill fort located at a distance of around 20 kms from Lonavala. Nestled amidst the chaos of the city, this historical place in Maharashtra spells magnificent and grandeur in all its form. Tucked away at a desolate distance from the main township, the place boasts of panoramic vistas of the adjacent meadows, verdant green woods, sweeping views of the adjoining hills and an all around environment of serenity, solitude and ataraxy. Built at a height of 923 metres above the sea level, the fort is believed to have been built in the 1500 BC and is the only one of its kind in the town.
The Ajoba Hill fort is a popular historical place in Maharashtra where trekking and rock climbing can be enjoyed amidst lush greenery and sceneries. Darkoba Peak nearby is also a favorite for nature lovers, rock climbing and trekking.
This massive complex covers an area of almost 45 acres. Built in a mixture of Mughal and Gothic style architecture, it is an elegant mansion which once upon a time housed the Royal Nawabs.
Covering nearly 9 acres, this fort is considered to be one of the most important sea forts in India. This famous fort is constructed by the great Marathas in order to conquer the Janjira Fort which lies near by. Ruins of this great fort can be seen from the sea shore.
Standing between the Revdanda and the Salav Creeks, is a fort known for its architecture and design. There are two temples and a dargarh in the fort complex as well. Prisons, parapets, stores and chambers can be seen inside the fort.
Situated a few km away from Durshet are two mountain forts - Sarasgad and Sudhagad. Both were forts under the reign Shivaji Maharaj in those times. Apart from it's historical significance, it is popular among trekkers and adventure enthusiasts.
It is located beyond village 'Kalamkhar' near village 'Zilpi' about 10 km from 'Dharni' on 'Barhanpur Road'. The Fort is constructed in burnt bricks and is located at the confluence of rivers Tapti, Sipna and Gadga.
Situated 1000 feet above the sea level, this fort primarily acts as a view point. Built in the 4th Century, this historical place in Maharashtra is set in the midst of lush greenery on hilly terrains. The River Rajpuri can be viewed from here.
Another major spot defining the antiquity of the city's past. Bhopatgad Fort also serves as a significant historic place. Established by Chhatrapati Shivaji, this historical place in Maharashtra is comparatively small in size and is almost synonymous with Maratha Kingdom.
Situated in Bagmandala close to Diveagar about 4 km away, Bankot Fort is place for history buffs. It is said that the fort was captured by the Portuguese from Adil Shah in 1545 and was later acquired by Marathas.
At a distance of 10 km from Chiplun and surrounded by the Vashishti river is the small island of Gowalkot. There is a fort that had been constructed way back in 1690 that offers a pleasant experience for trekkers who, at the top can get heart stopping views of the river and area as a whole.
25km from Chiplun is a museum dedicated to the life and works of Chhatrapati Shivaji. The museum had taken 15 years and about a crore rupees to build and was built by a social worker, Sitrambuva Walawalkar.
Surrounded by Arabian sea on three sides, Ratnadurg fort is a structure in a form of horseshoe as wide as 1000 meters and as long as 1300 meters. It is spread over 120 acres and was once a strong hold of the Maratha empire later to be occupied by Mughals.
Located in the Matheran district of Maharashtra, the Chanderi Fort is a historical monument which can be reached by taking a short trek to the hilltop. This day-long trek in the Kalyan area is a breather for people from Mumbai, Pune and the nearby regions, and the fort is as famous as the trek that leads to it. From the top of this ancient fort, one can view the surrounding forts of Prabalgad, Nakind, Kalavantin, Irshalgad, Karnala, Vikatgad, Mhaismal, Matheran, Haji Malang, Tavli and Navra Navri, and also the Western Ghats far behind in all their glory.
Raja Bhoj constructed Ajinkyatara Fort on one of the Sahyadri mountains which consist of seven mountain ranges, that was built in the 16th century. The elevation of this fort is 3,300 feet. It was initially named after the son of Aurangzeb, Ajim. The name of this fort was changed from ‘Ajimtara’ to ‘Ajinkyatara’ by Narayan Hari Apte, a Marathi Novelist. It is the most historic places in Maharashtra and one of the best tourist spot in the district of Satara.
Kalyangad Fort is a citadel situated on the rim of the Nandgiri hill in the mountain ranges of Mahadev, Satara. Silhara King Bhoj II built it. It was then surrendered to King Shivaji in the 16th century, after which Bajirao possessed it. At the end of the last Maratha war, it fell in the hands of General Pritzler in the early 18th century. In 1862, it was characterised to be in a condition as severe as uninhabitable without any supplies or water. It is located at an elevation of 3500 feet. There is a temple of Lord Hanuman in the fort, which is the only thing that is intact in this fort.
Naukhanda Palace was built in 1616 by Malik Ambar and had massive gateways leading to it. The magnificent palace has nine apartments, masjid, hot baths, kacheri in addition to several other structures.
Sitabuldi Fort is a popular tourist site in Nagpur which also holds significant historical importance. The historical place in Maharashtra is situated atop a hill and is the site of the Battle of Sitabuldi, 1817. The highlight of the fort has a cell where Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned. Besides, it has a war memorial dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in the battle.
Built at an elevation of 3500 feet, Irshalgad Fort is the sister fort of Prabalgad Fort. It was constructed during the Bahmani Sultanate. The attraction is surrounded by dense forestation and has several thrilling trekking trails. The Irshalgad pinnacle also serves as a perfect spot for mountaineering. The panoramic view of the Western Ghats from the top of the attraction is worth the visit.
Named after Goddess Pebi Devi, Vikatgad Peb Fort is an ancient fort on the Matheran Hill range. The fort is surrounded by the scenic natural landscape of the Western Ghats and is a preferred trekking destination and a weekend picnic spot.
Which one of these historical places in Maharashtra are you planning to go next?